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The Globe and Mail

Mad about plaid? Mix and match without looking like a lumberjack

Deborah Baic / The Globe and Mail/Deborah Baic / The Globe and Mail

Whether preppy and collegiate or rustic and outdoorsy, plaid seems to return to the runway in some form every autumn. This season, in lieu of schoolgirl kilts or lumberjack shirts, several designers showed full-length plaid looks, styled in a decidedly ladylike fashion. Here's a checklist for how to work one at the office.

1. Choosing a form-fitting dress is not your only option for wearing plaid from top to bottom. Instead, try a slim-cut light-coloured checked blouse paired with an A-line skirt in a darker plaid for an outfit that's both visually interesting and figure-flattering.

2. While playful accents like oversized pearls and bright fur stoles topped the tartans on Sonia Rykiel's runway, feel free to keep your accessories more muted, especially if you're mixing plaids. Dark brown leather accents like a belt and a structured bag will ground your look without adding noise or clutter.

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3. Rykiel's models may have strutted barelegged in sexy colourblock heels, but you can tone down your version of the look for the workplace – and the winter – with dark opaque tights and high-heeled booties. These will keep you warm, but still look smart.

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